Population of Nairi

By some opinions, the Nairi tribes may have been a Hurrian tribe, related to contemporary Mitanni (Götze 1936). Others take this hypothesis skeptically; e.g., Benedict (Benedict 1960) points out that there is no evidence of the presence of Hurrites in the vicinity of Lake Van. Other Authors have pointed out different views involving the indigenous peoples of the Caucasus. Professor Shestokov, a Soviet Russian historian, wrote in 1939, – The oldest states of the Soviet Union were founded 3,000 years ago to the south of Transcaucasia. The oldest among them, that in the Ararat area, by the Lake of Van, was called Urartu. Its kings ruled over Georgian tribes.” 

An early, documented reference to Nairi is a tablet dated to the time of Adad-nirari I (13th century BC), which mentions the purchase of 128 horses from the Nairi region.

The Nairi fought against the southern incursions of the Assyrians and would later unite into Urartu.

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